When can I move my child from a booster seat?

An important message to share with your families of children in Kindergarten and Year 1.

Height is the most important factor for deciding when a child no longer needs to use a booster seat, as cars are designed for average sized adults, NOT children.

The law says:

Children aged from four years old but under seven years old must be secured in a forward-facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness or an approved booster seat

Children should use a booster seat until they are big enough to be well protected by a lap-sash seatbelt alone.

They are often moved into an adult seat belt way too early. Like babies and toddlers, older children are also at risk of serious injury in the event of a crash. Adult seat belts are designed for a minimum height of 145cm.

But height isn’t everything, how does your child sit in the seat?

Use the Five-Step Test to guide your decision.

Can they:

1. Sit with their back against the seat back

2. Bend their knees comfortably over the front of the seat cushion

3. Sit with the sash belt across their mid-shoulder

4. Sit with the lap belt across the top of their thighs

5. Remain in this position for the whole trip.

Some other things to look out for when a child is ready to be moved:

  • shoulders no longer fit comfortably within the booster seat; or
  • eye-level is higher than the back of the booster seat.

If your child is too small for the child restraint specified for their age, they should be kept in their current child restraint until it is safe for them to move to the next level.

If your child is too large for the child restraint specified for their age, they may move to the next level of child restraint.

But remember children are at their safest when using a child restraint that is right for their size and age.

Find out more about passenger safety at Safety Town information for families

You will find answers to other questions https://www.childcarseats.com.au/faqs

Who can help ensure children with additional needs travel safely?

Mobility Engineering is a valuable source for ‘total mobility solutions'.

  • Teaching and learning
Return to top of page Back to top